Service User Involvement

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This picture is called “Let Go”. The artist, Jackie, describes it as a visual metaphor for dealing with painful issues from the past.

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“Equinox does not see service user involvement as a tick box exercise; it is central to our core values”
- Breaking Down Barriers: Equinox 2009

Since we published our Service User Involvement Strategy in 2009 we have been working with our service users to find ways in which they can have the most effective influence on our services on a day to day basis. We look for involvement at strategic, service and individual levels.

Now we can say confidently that service users are part of our most important business processes and have a say in all of our biggest decisions. Our service users’ council is one of the central forums for discussion in the organisation and their input is important to us.

Coupled with this central attention, however, we have also made sure that there is a framework for involvement at service level. All of our services have involvement champions and service user representatives. Our practice is consistently tested and challenged by our service users, making it more responsive and adaptable.

At the individual level we empower service users to determine their own recovery and support. plans and to determine the way in which their support is delivered.

Increasingly the example set by Equinox has been picked up with our service users now leading involvement activities on local, regional and national forums.

Additionally we invest in service user involvement. We employ a team with responsibility for ensuring that involvement activity is supported and that we make progress against our ambitious plans to put service users in the driving seat at Equinox.

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